Eight Public Speaking Competencies and Criteria for Assessment



 

Competency One

Chooses and narrows a topic appropriately for the audience and occasion.

This competency addresses evidence of preparation, practice, and attention to the audience.

Excellent

The speaker presents a topic and a focus that are exceptionally appropriate for the purpose, time constraints, and audience
(The speakerís choice of topic reflects unusually insightful audience analysis, stays within the time limit and is consistent with the purpose)


Satisfactory

The speaker presents a topic and a focus that are appropriate for the purpose, time constraints, and audience.
(The speakerís choice is a reasonable choice for the time limitations of the speech, is generally consistent with the purpose, and reflects appropriate analysis of a majority of the audience.)


Unsatisfactory

The speaker presents a topic and a focus that are not appropriate for the purpose, time constraints, or audience.
(The speakerís choice is inconsistent with the purpose, the topic cannot be adequately treated in the time limitations of the speech, and there is little or no evidence of successful audience analysis.)

 

Competency Two

Communicates the thesis/specific purpose in a manner appropriate for the audience and occasion.
This competency addresses specific aspects of the introduction: gaining attention of the audience, making the topic clear to the audience, making a clear connection between the audience and the topic, previewing main points, and providing a clear transition from the introduction into the main body.

Excellent

The speaker communicates a thesis/purpose that is exceptionally clear and identifiable.
(Within the opening few sentences, the audience knows precisely what the speech is about.)


Satisfactory

The speaker communicates a thesis/specific purpose that is adequately clear and identifiable.
(At least a majority of the audience should understand clearly, within the opening few sentences of the speech, precisely what the specific purpose/thesis of the speech is.)


Unsatisfactory

The speaker does not communicate a clear and identifiable thesis/specific purpose.
(A majority of the audience may have difficulty understanding within the opening few sentences of the speech precisely what the speech is about.)

 

Competency Three

Provides supporting material appropriate to the audience and occasion.

This competency addresses the use of supporting material; crediting of sources; credibility of sources; quantity, quality and relevance of evidence; and the quality, introduction, and use of visual aids.

Excellent

The speaker uses supporting material that is exceptional in quality and variety.
(Supporting material is unarguably linked to the thesis of the speech; it enhances the credibility of the speaker; it proves the argument; and it provides clarity and interest.)


Satisfactory

The speaker uses supporting material that is appropriate in quality and variety.
(Supporting materials is logically linked to the thesis of the speech; it adds interest and clarity to the speech.)


Unsatisfactory

The speaker uses supporting material that is inappropriate in quality and variety.
(Supporting material is only vaguely related to the thesis of the speech; sources are not cited; visual aids are too small and/or poorly introduced and used. Ideas are not developed in an interesting, clear manner.)

 

Competency Four

Uses an organizational pattern appropriate to the topic, audience, occasion, and purpose.

This competency addresses a clear organizational pattern, a clear organizational structure, transitions, summary of points, and a definitive final statement.

Excellent

The speaker uses an exceptional introduction and conclusion and provides an exceptionally clear and logical progression within and between ideas.
(The introduction clearly engages the audience, the body of the speech reflects superior clarity in organization, and the conclusion clearly reflects the content of the speech and leaves the audience with an undeniable message or call to action.)


Satisfactory

The speaker uses an appropriate introduction and conclusion and provides a reasonably clear and logical progression within and between ideas.
(The introduction and conclusion reasonably meet the criteria for effectiveness; there are minor weakness in the organization. Progression between ideas is clear.)


Unsatisfactory

The speaker fails to use an introduction or conclusion and fails to provide a reasonably clear and logical progression within and between ideas.
(The speaker does not engage the audience in the introduction, does not clearly lead the audience through the body of the speech, and fails in the conclusion to leave r a majority of the audience with a clear message or call to action.)

 

Competency Five

Uses language appropriate to audience and occasion

This competency addresses appropriate bias-free language, level of formality (no slang), reflexivity (inappropriate attention to speaker or occasion), and verbal fillers (like, you know).

Excellent

The speaker uses language that is exceptionally clear, vivid, and appropriate.
(The speaker chooses language that enhances audience comprehension and enthusiasm for the speech, while adding a measure of creativity that displays exceptional sensitivity by the speaker for the nuances and poetry of meaning.)


Satisfactory

The speaker uses language that is reasonably clear, vivid, and appropriate.
(The speaker chooses language that is free of inappropriate jargon, is nonsexist, is nonracist,etc.)


Unsatisfactory

The speaker uses unclear or inappropriate language.
(The speaker chooses inappropriate jargon or language which is offensive.)
Competency Six

Uses vocal variety in rate, pitch, and intensity (volume) to heighten and maintain interest appropriate to the audience and occasion

This competency addresses vocal presentation: rate, expressiveness, pitch, intensity, and volume.

Excellent

The speaker makes exceptional use of vocal variety in a conversational mode.
(The speaker uses his/her voice so that he/she is easily heard by all audience members, enhances the message through variations in pitch, and speaks at a rate that holds the attention of the audience.)
Satisfactory
The speaker makes acceptable use of vocal variety in a conversational mode.
(The speaker shows only occasional weakness in rate, volume, pitch, etc., thereby not detracting significantly from the overall quality or impact of the speech.)


Unsatisfactory

The speaker fails to use vocal variety and fails to speak in a conversational mode.
(The speaker shows frequent weakness in controlling and adapting rate, volume, pitch, etc., resulting in an overall detraction from the quality or impact of the speech.)

 

Competency Seven

Uses pronunciation, grammar, and articulation appropriate to the audience and occasion.

This competency addresses correct pronunciation of words, correct grammar, articulation (shaping words clearly and distinctly), and fluency of delivery.

Excellent

The speaker has exceptional articulation, pronunciation, and grammar.
(The speaker exhibits exceptional fluency, properly formed sounds which enhance the message, and no pronunciation or grammatical errors.)
Satisfactory
The speaker has acceptable articulation, with few pronunciation or grammatical errors.
(Most sounds are properly formed; there are only minor disfluencies and a few minor errors in pronunciation and grammar.)
Unsatisfactory
The speaker fails to use acceptable articulation, pronunciation, and grammar.
(Disfluencies interfere with the message, and frequent errors in pronunciation and grammar make it difficult for the audience to understand the message.)

 

Competency Eight

Uses physical behaviors that support the verbal message.









This competency addresses the nonverbal support of the presentation: eye contact with audience, good use of note cards, use of lectern, appropriate appearance, appropriate use of gestures, appropriate use of movement, and facial expression.

Excellent

The speaker demonstrates exceptional posture, gestures, bodily movement, facial expressions, eye contact, and use of dress.
(The nonverbal behaviors and dress consistently support the verbal message and therefore enhance the speakerís credibility throughout the audience.)


Satisfactory

The speaker demonstrates acceptable posture, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, and use of dress.
(The nonverbal behaviors and dress generally support the message, with minor inconsistencies that neither significantly distract from the speakerís credibility with the audience nor interfere with the message.)


Unsatisfactory

The speaker fails to use acceptable posture, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, and dress.
(The speakerís nonverbal behaviors and dress are incongruent with the verbal intent and detract from the speakerís credibility with the audience as well as distracting the audience from the speakerís message.)